DEAR Prime Minister James Marape, I hope you forgive me for writing this public letter to you, but I do not have faith that your officers will forward my concern to your office.
Hence, following the successful biblical example of blind Bartimaeus, I feel that the only way to make myself heard is to shout for help from the rooftop, using our daily newspaper.
It is hoped that through this public appeal, perhaps other relevant government agencies and corporate organisations may sympathise with me and respond to this cry for help.
By the end of this year in October or November, several Papua New Guinean tertiary students sponsored by the New Zealand government scholarship will complete their studies and return to Papua New Guinea.
The full number of this year’s PNG graduating students is available from the New Zealand ministry of foreign affairs and trade.
Under the terms of the New Zealand scholarship agreement, our students have been educated at the expense of the New Zealand government to develop their home country and to foster peace, good will and cooperation globally and as well between New Zealand and their country of origin.
These Papua New Guinean students have represented us well by completing their studies.
They will be returning with internationally recognised tertiary qualifications and will be ready to take on the developmental challenges that plague our country.
Unfortunately, they will be returning to face the economic hardship of the associated costs of quarantining, including hotel accommodation, meals, Coronavirus (Covid 19) testing and others.
I am a parent of one of these students and am writing to alert your office in advance and to seek Government assistance for all these returning students by way of either sponsorship for their quarantine costs or leniency from the strict Covid-19 protocols.
I request that those returning students from New Zealand, who have been vaccinated, should be considered for a shorter quarantine period on the grounds that New Zealand is a small and isolated country that has managed the Covid-19 pandemic relatively very well with fewer cases and smaller rates of infection compared to the rest of the world.
I feel that it is fair and mutually beneficial that the PNG Government considers allocating funds for the processing of these returning students back into PNG.
After all, these students will contribute by creating business opportunities for their fellow Papua New Guineans and contribute by paying the already-high taxes to the Government
Concerned PNG Parent